Cyprus healthy life expectancy from birth (HALE 2006)
Males: 78.8 years - Females: 81.9 years.
Cyprus has a system of both public and private doctors, however the vast majority of English speakers use the private doctors. Public doctors can be found in all State hospitals, but there are usually very long waiting times and prior appointments cannot be made. With private doctors surgeries, or private doctors in clinics, poly clinics and private hospitals, it is best to phone and make an appointment first, however the appointments are dealt with more promptly and there should be minimal waiting time.
All private doctors will charge for visits, whilst free treatment for public doctors has been available to all who have a European medical card, for a charge of around 2 euros per visit for a public doctor, with prescriptions generally being free at the hospital pharmacy. However, new hospital / prescription charges for all citizens were introduced in 2012 under the AKEL Government, and may be revised again under the new (2013) government of Nikos Anastasiades.
As of 1st May 2010, the UK started issuing new European Medical cards (EHIC) to expats, which covered full travel, accident & emergency and full medical cover, however, this entitlement is only for those who have retired, and due to new hospital charges recently introduced, even these ex-pat retirees are likely to have to pay for hospital treatment in Cyprus from now on. The EHIC is not a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but it entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as Cypriot nationals. The EHIC will not cover medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment or non-urgent treatment. When current Cyprus medical cards expire, a written application will be required to the UK for a new medical card. For anyone below retirement age, medical treatment in Cyprus will be commensurate with paying social insurance contributions, as well as paying the going rates at the hospital. This highlights the need even more to get private medical insurance.
For information on requirements to get your European medical card please read Healthcare in Cyprus (in pdf format, may not be compatible with mobile devices). You can also get more information from the Ministry of Health website.
Doctors in Cyprus are generally of a high standard, and speak good English. Some people prefer to see a female doctor, and there are many good lady doctors available in all towns. Another reason why many women are turning to trusted female doctors stems from the recent sex claims by patients of a Larnaca gynaecologist.
Some doctors cannot take blood tests, but will refer you to their recommended laboratory where tests can be taken, this will be at extra cost to your doctor's appointment. You may choose your own laboratory to go to if you do not wish to use the one recommended by your doctor. There are some excellent top class biological clinics (blood banks) that will take blood tests and have the results back often on the same day.
If you have a specific health problem then you may be able to make an appointment directly with a private doctor who specialises in that field, otherwise you can go to any general doctor (GP) for referral. Waiting times to see a private specialist is minimal, and often you will be seen within days. Specialist doctors are highly qualified, and you can find doctors specialising in many areas such as;
Otolaryngology (ENT ear, nose and throat)
Dermatology & Venereology
Nutrition & Dietetics
Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery
We cannot stress strongly enough the need for non eu or people who do not qualify for free medical treatment in Cyprus to take a private medical insurance policy. We have seen all too often people without medical provision taken seriously ill, or being the victim of an accident, and who must pay for all medical treatment which can amount to huge costs. We also urge British ex-pats to take out adequate private medical insurance.